Shake Some Action and Richard Turgeon

Shake Some Action

Shake Some Action “Crash Through Or Crash”

Shake Some Action (aka James Hall) returned this past summer with his shimmering Byrdsian jangle guitar pop, and its the perfect antidote for the fall chill. We strum our way through 14 tracks, starting with “Waiting For The Sun,” a soothing and fast-paced single. “The Only Way is Up” and “Secrets and Lies” boast simple, put powerful lyrics with Jagger-like vocal swagger. The customary leading power pop riff is the basis for the melody in “Bang Bang” and the style of composition varies enough so we get both consistency and unpredictability.

Some tracks are just the typical Shake Some Action sound, like “Starting Again” and others have a more melodic wrinkle, like the excellent “Paraphernalia.” Slowing things down we get the psychedelic “Under the Sun and the Moon” and the Kinkisan rockers “I Don’t Think So” and “It Goes Like This.” Overall, a successful and memorable LP that is highly recommended.


Richard Turgeon

Richard Turgeon “In Between the Spaces”

San Francisco musical Richard Turgeon released this surprisingly entertaining album earlier this year. The highlight is the first track; the rocking “Bigfoot’s An Alien” with a big fat hook in the chorus. Turgeon’s heavy fuzz guitar style is similar to Jeff Shelton (The Well Wishers) in approach with a touch of REM styled jangle.

The dense production on “Bad Seed” also highlights some nice harmonies and lyrics as he asks “What am I lacking to seduce you?” Another highlight here is “I’m 30” a confession of appreciation to parents from a prodigal son. A veiled political message is a part of “The Candidate” with the dangers of following a “Superman with no soul.” Not everything works, but enough does to make this album an enjoyable listen. Plus as a bonus, Richard has been busy delivering four FREE downloadable singles since the LP’s initial release.

Amazon | Kool Kat Musik


Jingle Jangle Pop, Shake Some Action, Dropkick

Jingle Jangle Pop

“Jingle Jangle Pop”

Holiday music from the guitar & pen of Andy Goldberg (the driving force behind The Honeymoon Stallions, The Goldbergs & The Sun Kings). This 5 song EP compiles holiday songs from each of the bands mentioned, all remixed by Paul Umbach. Some of these song have been “missing” for many years, so it’s great to have them back for the holiday season.

CD Baby

Shake Some Action

Shake Some Action “Christmas in The Sun”

One of my favorites, Shake Some Action delivers a great holiday single for FREE download. But I would like you to pay for it. All proceeds from the sale of this single go to the Toys For Tots Foundation, a top rated charity that provides toys, books and other gifts to less fortunate children. Bandcamp only.


Dropkick “25th December” EP

British band Dropkick certainly has been very active this year, and this goody is a small collection of holiday themed songs for FREE download. Love the jangling melody of “When Santa Comes Round” — you will too. Bandcamp only.

Mike Dees and Shake Some Action

Mike Dees “Something Like Glitter”
Dees has tapped a rich vein of power pop along the lines of Velvet Crush, The Posies and Richard X. Heyman with his newest LP Something Like Glitter.  The opener “AM Radio” is a terrific riff about the joys of growing up in an analog world.

The songs vary in style from the muscular rock  of “Little Know Nothing,” to the slow tempo “Bring It Down.” Dees vocals seem to shift in tone based on the song so you get the grizzled rocker on the title track, but on “Bring It Down,” you get a nasal version of Pat DiNizio. Dees best vocal is most consistent on “Better?” In fact the base lines are very much like The Smithereens too, “Babble” is one example, with a driving chorus that chugs along. Absolutely worth checking out.

CD Baby | Amazon


Shake Some Action “Catch The Sun”
James Hall found a real groove with his last album Full Fathom Five, so this follow up isn’t far behind. “Color Exploding” is another gem that evokes a sunny trip, and “Wait For The Summer” flows right into your head as perfect modern beach music, complete with surfer beat.

“Fall Into The Sky” and “Moonlight Mind” are both full of Byrdsian Rickenbacker guitar and “You Don’t Know What It Means” leads with heavy drumbeats. The variety here is just enough to distinguish the songs, but a few tracks (“Wings”) feel a bit generic. Otherwise there is no filler here and this album is sure to please fans of Oasis, The Hoodoo Gurus, and The Grip Weeds. Highly Recommended.

Bandcamp | Kool Kat Musik | Amazon

Shake Some Action! and The Junipers

Shake Some Action! “Full Fathom Five”
More than previous efforts, James Hall has remained consistent in his love of guitar oriented power pop. He’s touched on the Manchester sound in Fire and Ice and the garage elements in Sunny Days Ahead.

Now with Full Fathom Five, James continues with his 60’s Brit pop style. The unmistakable Rickenbacker 12 string jangle greets us on the opener “Lost In Space.” Without missing a beat the magic continues on “Nothing Can Stop Me Now.” “Soul On Fire” is a fantastic single with its goose bump inducing chorus, rivaling Supergrass or Oasis (at their peak). Even the mid tempo “Lost Without You” has great big hook, and no filler anywhere. The Merseybeat ” I Didn’t Know What To Say” is so good, it sounds like a lost track from those Liverpool lads. It also varies its sound enough to prevent falling into a rut, making each of those 14 tracks fly by. More than other albums, the vocals are better and the songwriting is rock solid. It’s a retro treat and a definite contender for best album in 2013.

Bandcamp | Soul on Fire single only


The Junipers “Paint The Ground”
The Junipers are a psychedelic pop group with a new line up following 2008’s Cut Your Key. Paint The Ground is one of the best sunshine folk pop LPs ever with sweet harmonies and shimmering guitars similar to Curt Boettcher and Millennium. “Willow and The Water Mill” is a song that paints a vivid picture of a summer day in the country.

The gentle “Phoebus Filled The Town” is a heartbreaking melody with a prog-folk sound that will remind many of Steve Hackett era Genesis.  Each song seamlessly blends into a perfect tapestry of mood, as in “Antler Season,” the ethereal chorus rides along an acoustic melody. The only issue is that these songs tend to be indistinguishable from each other. Using a full load of instruments from Mellotrons to Zithers, it perfectly evokes the sunshine pop era without blatantly ripping it off – a true musical treasure.